Unlocking the creative economy in Malawi through sustainable personal development
The creative economy in Malawi has a huge potential and is growing at a slow but sure rate. The creative sector is often neglected despite improved government policies to promote creativity, arts and culture in the country. Malawi is culturally rich with authentic and diverse local and traditional talent.
Other nations in the SADC region have a thriving creative economy and most of the youth have access to formal creative education and formal employment. Such is not the case in Malawi.
Formal creative education
There is a need to adopt and to implement the Western approach to formal creative education. Also, following the footsteps of the Nigerian and Indian creative economies, formal programmes must be put in place in order to prepare the youth for formal employment in creative work. Such education would require training in hard and soft skills in relation to traditional and advanced means of learning.
Most creative people in Malawi lack formal and legal representation for their work. This is a hindrance in some cases when dealing with corporate and other organizations that are mostly reluctant to dealing with undocumented artists. There is a need to establish agencies designed to manage and to represent creative talent in Malawi.
Showcasing talent and selling creative work
Malawi is home to various platforms that help to showcase local talent to the world. More specific platforms need to be developed in order to capture the full creative economy. Furthermore, platforms where people can be able to buy and sell original creative work are needed.
Sustainable personal development
Through my creative writing workshops, I coach children to be the artistic voices and advocates for societal issues regarding gender, African identity and human rights. Other themes include artist and talent development so the youth can be active and performing players in the creative sector in Malawi. I believe providing the youth with transferrable and employable hard and soft skills is essential for their personal growth.